2013 Recruiting Update 1-15
Verbal Commitments: 20 (class size 24 to 26)
DJ Ward 6-4, 235, 4.6 Lawton DE
Hatari Byrd 6-2, 195, 4.55 DB
Matt Dimon 6-3, 255, 4.8 Texas DE
Stanvon Taylor 5-11, 175, 4.4 Tulsa CB
Cody Thomas 6-5, 220, 4.6 QB Texas
Ahmad Thomas 6-0, 200, 4.5 SS Miami
Charles Walker 6-4, 280, DT 4.8 Garland TX
KJ Young 6-1,180, 4.5 WR California
Dannon Cavil WR 6-5, 205, 4.5 San Antonio
Quincy Russell 6-4, 315 DT Trinity Valley CC Tex (HS highlights)
Ogbonnia Okoronkwo 6-3, 220, 4.6 DE/LB Houston
Kerrick Hughes 6-4, 285, 4.9 DT Dallas
Jordan Smallwood 6-2, 195, 4.55 WR Jenks
Jordan Evans 6-3, 210, 4.55 LB/DE Norman
Jed Barnett 6-2, 210 Punter JUCO
Christian Daimler 6-6,280, 5.1 Houston
Josiah St. John 6-6, 310, 5.2 Trinity Valley JUCO TX
Dominique Alexander 6-2, 195, 4.5 LB/S Tulsa
Austin Bennett 6-0, 170, 4.45 WR Texas
Keith Ford 5-11, 200, 4.5 Texas RB
2012 additions (redshirting due to transfer rules)
Cortez Johnson DB 6-2, 195 from Arizona (Mike Stoops thinks that the kid can be an elite DB in college.)
Verbal/Update: OU adds three, loses one.
This time the loss was not predicted, and while not to understate the loss of Rodriguez the loss of Mastrogiovanni was a tough play to OU’s recruiting efforts. The fact that he chose ATM after the Sooners’ 3rd quarter meltdown in Jerryworld doubled the blow. Of the 3 Sooner verbals at LB, Mastro was the one mostly likely to help next year and represented hopefully the bigger every down LB that the OU defense needs for the future. Also, his senior year film was impressive. And there’s no HS LB anywhere on OU’s offer list of equivalent skill/ability. OU may have to wait until 2014 to address the LB gap. Now to the positive of the new verbals, we will lead off with the newest DT verbal Charles Walker. OU badly needs to replenish their DT ranks and Walker is the second HS DT to verbal to OU. As mentioned previously, Walker has awesome senior year film (rivals top 100 type film). It’s the best film of any DT in Texas including Manning and A’Shawn Robinson. Walker if he can stay healthy (and he played his senior hurt so he’s a pretty tough guy), could be an impact DT after a redshirt year. It’s hard to understated how important his verbal was. There’s not another DT on the previous offer list who is still considering OU. It was Walker or bust. Now the next two verbals were pretty surprising since they are listed at WR and I’ve been saying for months that WR was Laquon Treadwell or nothing. That was apparently off target. The two WR verbals could not be more surprising. One name has never appeared in a recruiting update until this one, and the other name has been off the radar for OU for almost 9 months. KJ Young appeared from out of nowhere with the claim in his local newspaper of an OU offer. Apparently, Coach Kish has a long time connection with Young’s HS coach who tipped off Kish that no one was really offering his best player, Young. Kish got hold of Young’s senior year film and within days he had an OU offer. Young somehow was ignored despite posting nearly 1600 yards receiving with 18 touchdowns, and he posted nearly 800 of those yards in 4 big playoffs games against best competition. On video, he’s a big time play maker with elite hands and excellent speed. The only thing missing is a lack of elite top end speed. It’s almost impossible to argue with the offer. His film is that good.
The most recent verbal is really out of left field. Back in the spring, I listed Dannon Cavil (related to Ben Cavil, OU player in the 90s, and Kwame Cavil, UT’s top WR for Applewhite) as a potential target. Cavil verbaled to Ole Miss way early and never followed his recruiting again.
Cavil decommited from Ole Miss and in December verbaled to Cal to play in new coach Sonny Dykes pass happy scheme.
Cavil apparently was contacted by Coach Norvell in December that OU might have a mid term ship available if he was interested if Kenny Stills left to go pro. Now, Cavil had been to an OU junior day and was very interested in the Sooners. Pretty much the Sooners were his favorite.
So Stills left for the NFL and OU who ideally needed to add a “big” WR offered Cavil. Somehow OU got Cavil up to Norman secretly and he verbaled on Monday. Cavil is a legit 6-5, 205 WR with excellent speed and agility. He could be an excellent compliment to the slot WRs (Shepard, Saunders, Bennett) and the bigger flankers (Metoyer, Woods, Neal, Smallwood, Bester) in the program. He gets to go thru spring and provides a different WR piece for the future. His junior film is limited due to an injury but his senior film is excellent. His HS is a big time running offense, so Cavil didn’t see the ball a lot. However, his average yards per reception (33 catches for 720 yards with 8 TDs) shows his big play threat potential.
OU is still ranked in the top 20 by Rivals and Espn and their Rivals rankings will only go up once Young and Walker get their new evaluation rankings (probably 3 stars).
OU has 20 commitments and 4 early enrollees in Cavil, Ahmad Thomas, DJ Ward, and Jed Barnett (sounds like Quincy Russell will need one more semester at JUCO so will enroll in June instead), OU’s class in theory could be as large as 29 kids. I fully expect some more attrition between now and signing day so OU going for a full 29 would not a big surprise if the right kids decide to be sooners. OU usually falls a little short. Still it’s going to be a mad dash to signing day. I fully expect new names to appear and old names to resurface. The recent trend has been OU loses one long time commit (let’s hope it’s over with Mastro) and OU steals someone late.
OU needs to close with at least one DB now that Tee Shepard is having to enroll at JUCO due to the eligibility mess created by his early enrollment at ND being disqualified. LJ Moore is probably the leading candidate for that one DB spot with Adrian Baker trailing as a second possibility. Tahaan Goodman just visited OU but he’s probably following Priest Willis to either UCLA, LSU or maybe USC.
Its unclear where OU stands with Lamar Robbins right now.
At OL, OU needs at least two more HS players. Aaron Cochran has been the only consistent name on the OL list as it has seen changes left and right the last 6 weeks testing the patience of Sooner fans. New names Rami Hammad and Dwayne Johnson are both excellent looking prospects from Texas with senior film far superior to their junior film. However, both players are starting to rack up other big time offers so OU will have to close quickly. In addition, OU offered former target Dan Skipper based on his senior year film. Unfortunately, that offer is probably about 4 weeks too late, and the delay has been driving the Sooner internet fan base crazy. At this point, Skipper’s visit list is full, so it does not look like OU will get a visit from him. In addition, SEC territory OG/OT Josh Outlaw appears to have an OU visit scheduled. He’s a combo OL who could play inside or outside. . I don’t think OU will land either JUCO OT left. Two August enrollee JUCO OTs does not make any real sense.
Beyond those needs, OU ideally would land one more HS LB and one true TE. Right now there are only two names and one is a complete longshot (Danny Mattingly who might visit after Oregon lost Chip Kelly) and in state prospect legacy Jackson Dillon (former OU LB Richard Dillon)
Final Class Prediction
QB: Cody Thomas (1)
RB: Keith Ford (2)
WR: Jordan Smallwood, Austin Bennett, KY Young, Dannon Cavil (7)
OL: Aaron Cochran, Christian Daimler, Dwayne Johnson, Rami Hammad,
Josiah St. John JUCO OT, (12)
DT: Quincy Russell, Kerrick Huggins, Charles Walker (15)
DE: DJ Ward, Matt Dimon, Ogbonnia Okoronkwo (18)
LB: Jordan Evans, Dominique Alexander (20)
DB: Stanvon Taylor, Hatari Byrd, Ahmad Thomas, LJ Moore, Adrian Baker, (25)
Who is left in play?
Christian Morris 6-6, 295, 5.1 Memphis – Another UCLA verbal that has blown up in recruiting. OU has offered and will try and get him on campus. He’s a big athlete who again looks like he could be a great LT/RT. OU visit seems like it’s been pushed out until 1/20. Not sure it will even happen.
Rami Hammad 6-5, 320 Dallas – Former OSU/Baylor commit who has just blown up since a dominating performance at the recent Semper Fi All Star game. He looks a little like Trent Williams on film. UT might be a favorite with an offer.
Josh Outlaw 6-4, 290, 4.9 Atlanta – Recent UF decommit. Powerful mobile OG/OT combo OL prospect. Several out of area schools including OU and TCU are offering Outlaw.
Maurice Porter 6-6, 285, 5.2 Texas – A Texas Tech verbal who as reappeared on the radar. Played OG his junior year, but played mostly tackle his senior year. Film is much improved.
Dwayne Johnson 6-6, 275, Houston – A Purdue commit who is racking up offers based on excellent senior year film. Excellent athleticism and mobility and his frame could easily carry 300+.
Aaron Cochran 6-7,330, 5.3 California – A big RT prospect from California who is still on the OU radar. He visited for the Baylor game and Cal where his brother plays may not be the leader everyone thinks. Tedford is gone. But Sonny Dykes is now hired. Will that help OU??
Desmond Harrison 6-8, 310 5.2 Cali Juco – A tall very mobile OT prospect that could turn into an absolute star. Unreal ceiling.
OU visit went well from all reports.
Matt Finnin 6-8, 330, 5.3 College of Dupage IL – Finnin is the latest OT offer. Scheduled for a visit in early January. His film looks good but his offer list is pretty average right now. His offer list could blow as folks find his film. He’s a big aggressive RT.
Matt Romar 6-3, 265, 4.8 Houston – The latest new name to appear at DT. Romar played DE most of his junior year but moved inside to DT his senior year. He looks like he could be an excellent 3 technique penetrating DT in the OU system. His frame looks like he could easily carry in the 285 range while keeping that explosive burst that OU needs out of that position. As a senior, Romar had 48 tackles with five sacks from the interior tackle spot. He was named All State 5-A at DT.
Jackson Dillon 6-6, 215, 4.7 Ringling OK – OU legacy who plays both LB/DE and TE. He looks better at TE than LB. Jackson definitely has potential.
Danny Mattingly 6-5 225, 4.6 Seattle – OU target from this spring. Decommitted from ND recently. Probably heading to Oregon. I have no info that he is even going to schedule an OU visit or if OU is even interested. But he would make a great option at TE.
Lamar Robbins 6-3, 185, 4.45 CB Florida – One of the top big CBs in Florida. Very similar to OU CB Gary Simon. Robbins visited for the OSU game and OU appeared to be leading. Right now, either Robbins is more focused on closer schools or OU is more focused on other targets. Robbins could also end up being a safety in the OU defense.
Adrian Baker 6-1, 170, 4.4 CB Florida – A big time cover CB from Florida. Verbaled to FSU, but with Mark Stoops leaving FSU along with his recruiting coach, Baker has de-committed. He’s already visited Clemson and OU and now appears ready to choose between those two teams on signing day.
LJ Moore 6-1, 185, 4.45 CB/S Fresno – OU is now back in the hunt for Moore with an official visit upcoming. Moore is an ideal hybrid between CB and safety that would fit the OU defense perfectly. Hatari Byrd has been talking up the Sooners.
Damarious Randall 6-0, 185 CB/S Juco – A late JUCO offer at DB. Not sure that OU will get a visit. But Randall could fit in several places in the Sooner secondary. CB, Nickel Back, or Dimeback.
Tahaan Goodman 6-2, 185, 4.5 California – One of the best safeties prospects in the country. His interest level in OU has been up and down. He had a good visit to OU but some hosts issues stopped it from being a grand slam. Will probably end up elsewhere.